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Buy/build a computer for home studio setup

slickeagle 921 150 November 3, 2015 at 01:25 PM
I want to build a recording "studio" for the wife. She likes to record her singing; nothing profesional, just a hobby. Planning to build/buy a desktop or laptop that can handle typical recording softwares and a usb condenser microphone. What kind of specs should I look for when buying the computer? Thank you.

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#2
Nothing special really needed here, sound recording isn't as specialized as say video editing. Any idea what software she is going to use? Budget? Desktop/Laptop? Spending money on the mic, sound control in the room, and possibly training on the software are all probably more important than the PC itself.

In general I would recommend going intel (i series) over AMD for the processor, they are generally faster. I would go 4gb ram minimum but you wont need a ton. An SSD for a boot drive (Cheaper to add after probably) will make things feel pretty fast on any modern system. A good backup system is important too, I would suggest cloud based for most people. A Dell on sale here would be a good, maybe something in the outlet.

Garageband is nice software on the mac and included I think. Might be worth considering.
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#3
Thanks for the response. I think I will build a desktop that can also play NBA 2K16. 2K recommends an i5 and 2gb video card so I will get that along with an SSD drive. Is there a recommendation for the specs of the sound card for recording? Garageband is a popular suggestion but I've never considered getting a Mac so I would have to look for something similar.
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#4
Quote from slickeagle View Post :
Thanks for the response. I think I will build a desktop that can also play NBA 2K16. 2K recommends an i5 and 2gb video card so I will get that along with an SSD drive. Is there a recommendation for the specs of the sound card for recording? Garageband is a popular suggestion but I've never considered getting a Mac so I would have to look for something similar.
If you're using a USB microphone, the mic rather than the sound card is your input device, so spending money on a good sound card will not increase the quality of recorded audio. If you're interested in other microphones (i.e. microphones which do require a good sound card for quality audio), Focusrite makes some very nice and affordable external recording devices (The Scarlett 2i2 goes on sale from time to time). If your wife is going to be singing along with music or other audio being played back, you will need to control for latency. To do so, you could use good sound card and condenser non-usb microphone. Alternatively, a USB mic with built-in headphone port could be a good choice.
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Last edited by hbarnwheeler November 4, 2015 at 01:58 PM
#5
if you don't want to go Mac just for garage band you can look at cakewalk in windows.
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Quote from mrbobhcrhs View Post :
if you don't want to go Mac just for garage band you can look at cakewalk in windows.
Cakewalk, ACID, and Audition are among the top commercial products. Some of cakewalk's products aren't that expensive.

There are free / open source programs worth trying too:
http://ardour.org/ *mac or linux only
http://www.audacityteam.org/
https://lmms.io/
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Last edited by jkee November 4, 2015 at 07:39 PM
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#8
Quote from hbarnwheeler View Post :
If you're using a USB microphone, the mic rather than the sound card is your input device, so spending money on a good sound card will not increase the quality of recorded audio. If you're interested in other microphones (i.e. microphones which do require a good sound card for quality audio), Focusrite makes some very nice and affordable external recording devices (The Scarlett 2i2 goes on sale from time to time). If your wife is going to be singing along with music or other audio being played back, you will need to control for latency. To do so, you could use good sound card and condenser non-usb microphone. Alternatively, a USB mic with built-in headphone port could be a good choice.
She will be singing along with music; usually karaoke DVDs. Can you suggest minimum specs for a desktop sound card for our purpose? Thanks again. Repped everyone.
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#9
Quote from slickeagle View Post :
She will be singing along with music; usually karaoke DVDs. Can you suggest minimum specs for a desktop sound card for our purpose? Thanks again. Repped everyone.
The system you build for gaming will easily handle the recording. Again sound card depends on the mic and setup. Most use an external control board that connects to the PC via usb so nothing special is really needed.
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#10
Quote from slickeagle View Post :
Thanks for the response. I think I will build a desktop that can also play NBA 2K16. 2K recommends an i5 and 2gb video card so I will get that along with an SSD drive. Is there a recommendation for the specs of the sound card for recording? Garageband is a popular suggestion but I've never considered getting a Mac so I would have to look for something similar.
Garageband is good choice , and also use USB microphone to get best result
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